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ANCHORS AWEIGH


After 18 months of planning, Stoneboro kicks off sesquicentennial celebration
By MARSHA FLEEGER
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[STONEBORO — The Stoneboro sculpure depicting a lump of coal, an anchor, railroad tracks, a railroad lantern and an engine was unveiled at the Stoneboro Sesqucentennial Celebration Thursday evening. Marsha Fleeger/R-A] STONEBORO — The Stoneboro sculpure depicting a lump of coal, an anchor, railroad tracks, a railroad lantern and an engine was unveiled at the Stoneboro Sesqucentennial Celebration Thursday evening. Marsha Fleeger/R-A STONEBORO —

Stoneboro’s sesquicentennial celebration pushed off Thursday evening with the unveiling of a sculpture, a pet parade and 150th birthday cake in the Stoneboro Memorial Park.

The sculpture was the result of a design competition for Lakeview students, but the committee couldn’t decide between designs belonging to Ashley Ray and Caitlin Rhoades. Thus, Glen Sanders, art director at George Junior Republic and his students, combined the two.

Once the design work was completed, welding instructor Mike Jenkins and more than two dozen students took on the task of fabricating the sculpture.

Jenkins explained that many of his students do not come from places such as Stoneboro that have a strong sense of community, so it was good for them to learn what community is.

[Mayor Bill Everall] Mayor Bill Everall The finished product was a tribute to the history of Stoneboro — the lake and, of course, the Lakeview Sailors. It featured a lump of coal, an anchor — which is symbolic to the Sailors and could be used in the lake — railroad track, a railroad lantern and a train’s engine.

The sculpture was dedicated in memory of Fred Houser; his cousin Roberta McClelland explained that it represented two of the things that Houser loved most: Stoneboro and trains.

Born Jan. 1, 1925, in Stoneboro, spent countless hours as a child watching trains travel through town. He graduated from high school in 1942 and went to Carnegie Tech, but was drafted by the Army before he could finish college.

After the Army, Houser returned to college and finished his degree in mechanical engineering and then went to work for the Bessemer & Lake Erie Rail Road. Later, he served as editor of railroad magazines and worked for the National Academy of Science in railroad research.

[STONEBORO — Seven-year-old Sinclair Cooke of Sandy Lake leads Pilot, the miniature horse, in the Stoneboro Sesquicentennial Celebration Pet Parade Thursday evening, with help from Jamie Sailor. Marsha Fleeger/R-A] STONEBORO — Seven-year-old Sinclair Cooke of Sandy Lake leads Pilot, the miniature horse, in the Stoneboro Sesquicentennial Celebration Pet Parade Thursday evening, with help from Jamie Sailor. Marsha Fleeger/R-A After his retirement, Houser moved back to the family home on Lake Street in Stoneboro.

The Houser estate and the Jason Pyle family also donated funds to build a new pavilion in Stoneboro Memorial Park.

“I would like to welcome you to this little piece of heaven in Mercer County,” Mayor Bill Everall said. “I always thought that the rivalry between the twin cities — Stoneboro and Sandy Lake — was because of the basketball teams at Sandy Lake and Stoneboro high schools, which would meet on the railroad tracks and fight, but recently some new information has revealed that it may date back to Amassa Stone himself.”

In his welcome speech, Everall said he was pleased with the turnout for the opening night of the festivities — which the sesquicentennial committee has spent 18 months planning.

Mercer County Commissioner Scott Boyd said that he grew up a couple miles outside of Stoneboro, but with a Stoneboro address. Thus, he considers Stoneboro his hometown.

“I remember coming down on what seemed like very cold mornings for swimming lessons in the lake,” he said. “They had them really early in the morning when it seemed like the water was too cold. I remember playing tennis on the tennis courts. Seems like those things are gone by the wayside, but the lake is still here, and Stoneboro is still here.”